AKA Atlas Minerals Plant, Atlas Uranium Mill, Moab, UT
The mining of uranium in Utah began in the 1870s. In the late 1950s, Charles Augustus Steen founded the nation’s first, independent uranium mill called the Uranium Reduction Company. Renamed as the Atlas Uranium Mill in the 1960s, the mill eventually closed in 1984.
Address or general location
Thompson, Utah (near Moab)
Uranium was first mined in Utah in the 1870s but it was not until the 1950s that uranium mining increased significantly. Inspired by the atomic age and the Cold War, Utah had as many as 800 uranium mines operating by 1955.
Charles Augustus Steen discovered the nation’s first big uranium strike in the Big Indian Wash southeast of Moab, Utah, in the early 1950s. Soon afterward, Steen founded the Uranium Reduction Company which was the nation’s largest uranium mill. The mill was purchased by Floyd Odlum’s Atlas Corporation and renamed as the Atlas Uranium Mill in 1962. The mill was closed in 1984.
As a result of operations at the former Uranium Reduction Company, the local community has been impacted by the waste products of uranium mining. Specifically, the company had created a uranium mill tailing pile near the Colorado River, which is referred to locally as the Moab Tailing Pile. As a result of the hazardous nature of the site, the Department of Energy has been involved with removing the tailings from the location.